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How Do I Cite the Bible in MLA Format?

• Books of the Bible are abbreviated, see here for common Bible abbreviations.

In-text Citation:

The first time you include a quote from the Bible, you need to include the translation, chapter (abbreviated), book, and verse, like this:

Paul urges Christians to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (English Standard Version, Rom. 12.2).

 

If you include quotations from the same translation later in your paper, you only need to include the book, chapter, and verse:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4.6-7).

Works Cited Page:

On your works cited page, your citation should include the translation you used; the editor’s name, if given; and the publication information. Examples are given below (note that The Message is slightly different because it has an author, not an editor).

Printed Bibles:

  • The English Standard Version Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.
  • The New Oxford Annotated Bible. Ed. Michael D. Coogan. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. Print.
  • Peterson, Eugene H. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2002. Print.
  • Zondervan NIV Study Bible. Full ref. ed. Kenneth L. Barker, gen. ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002. Print.

Bible Gateway (Web Bible):

  • English Standard Version. Bible Gateway. Web. 25 Oct. 2012.
  • Peterson, Eugene H. The Message. Bible Gateway. Web. 25 Oct. 2012.

By Azusa Pacific University

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